Histories and Lore – The Stormlands

Histories and Lore – The Stormlands


BRIENNE: Tarth has lulled
many a novice sailor into complacency. Our lush island sits on calm, blue water
like an emerald set into a sapphire. You would never guess that such a vision
is only the sheath hiding the blade of Shipbreaker Bay, with its treacherous tides,
unpredictable gales, and sharp rocks
lurking just below the water’s surface. The storms that blow through the bay
water the Kingswood and Rainwood, two of the great forests of Westeros. And they give the Stormlands their name. Even without our weather,
we have more than earned our name in strife. The first Storm King, Durran, started his reign by declaring war
on the Gods themselves. He loved the daughter of the sea god
and the wind goddess, but they forbade the union. At their wedding,
the Gods unleashed their might, pulling down his hold
and killing all of Durran’s family and guests, though his wife shielded him. Durran vowed to rebuild. And when he did,
the Gods again destroyed his home. His councilors begged him to retreat inland,
but he would not abandon his wall. Finally, with the counsel of
the Children of the Forest, or perhaps a young Bran the Builder, Durran raised a seventh castle that,
try as they might, and still do, the wind and sea gods
could not tear asunder. Durran took the name Godsgrief,
and called his new home Storm’s End. Having beaten the waters to the east, the Storm Kings turned their gaze
to more practical enemies, the Reach, Riverlands and Dome. For thousands of years, the Storm Kings
fought the Gardener kings of the Reach, and various families of Dorne
for control of the Dornish Marches, just below the Red Mountains. The fighting didn’t stop until Dorne
married into the Seven Kingdoms, a mere 100 years ago. But still the houses of the Stormlands,
such as the Dondarrions, guard the Boneway,
the mountain pass into the Marches, against any Dornish incursion. The Storm Kings had greater luck
to their north, at first. They took the Trident from the River Kings and built an empire that stretched
as far as the Neck. But then the ironborn
swarmed out of their islands and pushed the Storm Kings
out of the Riverlands. No doubt, the ironborn intended to
expand their empire into the Stormlands. Before they had a chance,
Aegon Targaryen landed with his dragons. While Aegon burned
the kings of the Iron Islands, the Rock and the Reach, his fiercest commander,
and rumored bastard brother, Orys Baratheon set out
to subdue the Stormlands. No matter how fierce a warrior he was,
no one could’ve envied his task. Storm’s End had seen
thousands of years of war and never fallen, but Argilac, the Storm King, chose not to barricade himself
behind its walls, and gave Orys the battle
he must have hoped for. Orys slew Argilac, and took Argi|ac’s castle, kingdom,
daughter, sigil and House words. House Baratheon became
the Lord of the Stormlands. Targaryen rule quieted the Stormlands
for the most part. Until Robert rebelled against the Mad King. His first challenge came not from the crown,
but from his own bannermen, who tried to join forces against him. Robert struck first, defeating three armies
in a single day at Summerhall. The victory cemented
Robert’s control of the Stormlands, and he was able to march
on the Reach and Riverlands, with no enemy to his rear. Yet, not all of Robert’s bannermen
sided with him. Ser Barristan the Bold
came from the Stormlands. But as the pre-eminent member
of Aerys’ Kingsguard, and greatest knight in the realm,
Ser Barristan remained loyal. After Robert’s decisive victory on the Trident, Robert sent his own maester
to care for his countryman, Ser Barristan, who had suffered grievous wounds
whilst fighting so hard to kill him. Later, when the Kingslayer betrayed Aerys, Robert pardoned Ser Barristan,
and even took him onto his own Kingsguard. When Robert lifted Mace Tyrell’s
ill-managed siege of Storm’s End and returned to his ancestral home, he realized the dream of
all the Storm Lords before him. To rule the Seven Kingdoms. Then Robert died, and his brother, Stannis,
killed their other brother, the noble King Renly, with black magic. Now the Stormlands
again live up to their name. With so many houses
burnt on the Blackwater, and others currying favor with the Lannisters
to seize the survivors’ lands, Renly cou|d’ve saved us. If only I cou|d’ve saved him. But I will teach Stannis a lesson he should’ve learnt
growing up in the Stormlands. As lightning gives way to thunder, so too, must murder lead to vengeance.

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